Published on Brock University (http://brocku.ca)
Learning Assurance History at the Goodman School of Business
Since 2005, Goodman has been actively engaged in the development and implementation of a formal Assurance of Learning process. Under the guidance of the Dean’s office a faculty Learning Assurance Committee was formed with representation from all faculty departments, undergraduate and graduate students, and chaired by the Associate Dean, Undergraduate Programs and AACSB. The committee’s mandate was to identify key skills important for students professional success, design a process where student learning would be measured in these areas, and disseminate the outcomes to faculty to support curriculum review and revision.
With continuous improvement as the foundation, the Assurance of Learning process has continued to evolve and expand leading to more stakeholder involvement and positive outcomes for student learning.
Establishing the Assurance of Learning Program 2005-2008
The Learning Assurance Committee began developing the school’s Assurance of Learning program in 2005 with a faculty survey designed to identify key skills that important for students’ future professional success. Three common skills were identified: written communication, problem solving and critical reasoning and these were adopted as learning goals by the school. In 2006 the committee, in consultation with the faculty, defined each of these learning goals and developed learning objective and rubrics for assessment. Beginning with written communication, faculty began assessment in all programs in a variety of courses and the outcomes were used to inform the school and resulted in revision of the rubric. In 2008, assessment expanded to include problem solving and critical thinking learning goals and the measurement of management specific knowledge was considered. The committee recommended pilot testing the ETS Major Field Test in Business; however, due to logistical reasons the test wasn't implemented during this time.
Assurance of Learning 2009-2010
With the initial implementation underway, the next cycle represented the expansion of the Assurance of Learning program and improvements implemented during this time are briefly described below.
Assessment of Learning Goals and Objectives 2010-2012
Using the program maps developed in 2010, the Learning Assurance Committee identified that key skills were most often taught and practiced in first and second year courses so it recommended that assessment be focused on upper year courses to provide the most valuable leaning measurements. The committee then created an assessment map of key required upper year courses in each program that contained a measureable component of a learning goal to be targeted for measurement. During each assessment cycle the assessment map was continuously revised to expand the number of targeted courses and increase the required sample size.
Also in 2010, Goodman hosted a pilot test of the ETS Major Field Test in Business for the tested in the undergraduate and MBA program. The test, hosted by Goodman, was voluntary for students in the BBA, BAcc, and MBA programs.
Assessment of the expanded learning goals began in spring 2010 and the outcomes were reviewed by the Learning Assurance Committee at the end of each academic year. Recommendation for changes to improve student learning were made and various recommendations were adopted before the start of the next academic year when assessment would begin again.
In 2011 the Dean established a number of sub-committees of the Goodman Advisory Board to increase the boards involvement in key areas including Accreditation. This sub-committee was trained on the purpose and process of Assurance of Learning as a foundation for its involvement in reviewing the program learning goals, objectives, and assessment outcomes.
Also in 2011, following a strategy developed by the original Learning Assurance Committee, two students (one undergraduate and one graduate) were re-introduced as members of the committee.
Assessment of the learning goals continued until Fall 2012 when an updated Assurance of Learning program was implemented.
Assurance of Learning 2013-Present
In 2012, based on ongoing training obtained through AACSB and Assurance of Learning seminars, the Assurance of Learning program was once again revised. The following initiatives were introduced to further expand and improve the program.